How to Clean Truck Headlights – 3 Methods

You spend time maintaining your truck and working to make it look its best, so why do the headlights become cloudy and covered with haze? Even the most conscientious truck owner faces this concern, which is why we put together a step-by-step guide teaching how to clean truck headlights with three diverse methods.

When headlights switched to plastic or polycarbonate construction in the 1980s, oxidation began occurring. These oxidized headlights naturally happen over time and aren’t the result of anything you’ve done. Some culprits include atmospheric chemicals, road debris and UV light.

Start by giving your truck a good washing. If that doesn’t work, you’ll want to move on to further treatment. Let’s take a closer look at some in-depth remedies.

How to Clean Truck Headlights with Toothpaste

You might think this seems silly, but people online swear by it. The best part is that you already have toothpaste in your home, we hope. Toothpaste is great for removing stains on your tooth enamel, and apparently, it does the same for your headlights.

Start by gathering the materials you need, including:

  • Car wax
  • Plastic gloves
  • Masking tape
  • Toothpaste
  • Water
  • Soft cloth

Clean the area with soap and water first. Then, rinse them off with water. Allow the headlights to air dry and then protect the surrounding areas with some masking tape. Put on your gloves and put some toothpaste on a damp, clean cloth.

Firmly rub your headlights with this cloth, moving in small circles. It’s okay to add more toothpaste and water if needed. It shouldn’t take you more than five minutes per light.

Rinse off the toothpaste and allow your headlights to dry. If you want to protect the lights, consider adding a layer of car wax followed by another rinse.

How to Clean Truck Headlights with Automotive Polish & Glass Cleaner

If you aren’t interested in sharing your toothpaste with your truck, we’ve got another option. Gather these materials to get started:

  • Automotive polish
  • Glass cleaner
  • Car wax
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic gloves
  • Rotary buffer
  • Water
  • Soft cloth

Protect the surrounding areas with some tape just like before. Spray the headlights with your glass cleaner and wipe off. Then, apply the automotive polish and rub the surface in a circular motion. Add more polish when needed and spend about five minutes per light. If you have a rotary buffer, you could use that instead.

Rinse off the polish with water and apply some wax for further protection.

How to Clean Truck Headlights with a Polishing Compound Kit

There are products on the market designed to deal directly with the fogging issue. Start by gathering these materials:

  • Car wax (some kits include a sealant)
  • Soft cloth
  • Mild soap (or the cleanser in the package)
  • Masking tape
  • Polishing compound
  • Water
  • An array of sandpaper (from 600 and 2500-grit)

Start again by protecting the surroundings with some masking tape. Wash the headlights with the mild detergent and rinse with some plain water. Apply the kit’s polishing compound with a clean cloth. Work it in with small, circular movements. Again, you’ll need to allow about five minutes for each light.

Then, wet sand each light. Start with the smallest grit and run it in cool water. Firmly rub it back and forth on each light. Don’t allow the sandpaper to become dry. Do the same action with each set of sandpaper, moving to the largest grit.

Rinse off the headlights with water and apply your wax or the kit’s sealant for additional protection.

Final Thoughts

If these methods fail to bring the results you desire, it’s time to seek out professional support. We believe that one of these sets of instructions will bring you the bright headlights you hope for. When you’re done fixing the lights, you’ll want to further accent and protect your truck with Durabak. Contact us today.

Click here to discover the excellent color and texture options Durabak has to offer.

2 Responses to How to Clean Truck Headlights – 3 Methods

  1. Natalie Hancock October 30, 2018 at 8:36 am #

    The simplest way to restore hazy headlights is to simply cover with a coat of clear from your local automotive paint store.

    • David Ickowitz November 5, 2018 at 7:50 pm #

      Yup, clear smooth Durabak also works great!

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